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red peony

A.L. Kennedy: Indelible Acts

Excerpt from 'Spared':
'I mean — cheese — you couldn't have come up with that by accident.' He felt warmer, he felt taller, he felt fate snuggling around him with a good, good plan. 'Cheese.' His tongue moved in his mouth especially deftly, as if each word were more than usually intended. 'But who would have thought to try and make it — who would have known how?'
    'I know, it's like bread dough with yeast, or meringues — especially meringues. Who on earth would have guessed that would happen to an egg white if you pummelled it enough?'
    'I think the correct term is beat.' While he thought, 'But pummel would do, I'm sure', he could really do nothing but think, 'There must have been a Lost Meringue Age'; that egg white looked so much like spunk, was so much like spunk.
    Spunk. There was nowhere his mind wasn't willing to go and he was so happy to follow it nearly scared him.
    I wonder what she sounds like when she comes.
    'The Meringue Age.' She patted his forearm quickly, approvingly. 'Of course, the Lost Meringue Age. An era of peace and random food experiments.'
    I will know what she sounds like when she comes. I will be there and I will hear her and I will see. I have to.
    But no harm done, only thinking.
   His eyelids had closed and he couldn't quite coax them back apart. Under her knee, in that curve, there would be sweat. And in between——


This is marvellous. Thank you for sharing it.
Glad you like it! After posting it I started to worry that it wouldn't be so hilarious and touching out of context, but... yes, it IS marvelous, isn't it?! She's a brilliant writer.
It's funny; I still take it as a personal vindication when someone I know read (and likes) A.L. Kennedy; I think I just spent so long raving about her before she was published in the US that I can't quite accept I'm in a country where she's almost a Popular Author. But I did really like Indelible Acts - it's probably my third favourite, actually.
Which of her books beat this one into third place? Everything You Need is my absolute favourite of hers, so far. But I think I may have missed a couple. I'm hoping I've missed a couple, so there's more ahead of me to read.
Everything You Need I've only read the once, but I remember loving it (and wanting to film it, and falling over myself trying to explain to Ms Kennedy how much I loved it, and so on), and that would be #2. But mainly I'm a sucker for Original Bliss, either because it's the first one I read or the one I've read the most often; it's, for me, quite possibly the best modern fiction about religion out there, and sexy to boot - how can you go wrong?
I've only read it once too -- that was one of the favourites that got given away! I'm very evangelical about favourite books. But I haven't read Original Bliss, which is very exciting. In fact, so exciting that I might pick it up at Borders on my way over to a friend's house. So exciting that the slight detour might be worth it. Whee!
Does she write novels, or short stories?
I really like this. I've wondered about cheese!
Is there also an AL Kennedy, who writes for the Guardian, or are they the same person?
She writes both novels and short stories. I don't know which format she prefers, though. Both are excellent; very funny and really just brilliantly written. I think that she does also write for the Guardian occasionally, unless there is another fabulous Scottish woman with the same name and a talent for word-play... :)
Ah! More to read when I get home. I can see why you like this!
May I send you one of her books?
Certainly, but only if you'll send it to my parents' house in the US instead of to me in Spain, else I'll have to abandon it here before I have a chance to read it. I have too many books!
Oh, I do like that.

It reminds me of Australian author Luke Davies (poet/novelist - wrote Candy which is being made into a movie with Heath Ledger & Geoffrey Rush, won Australian book of the year last year with an epic 40page poem and is in the latest Paroxysm Press book), but I don't know that anyone else would necessarily see where I'm coming from on that one.

But yes, I do like that.